Wiluszynski v London Borough of Tower Hamlets

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Wiluszynski v Tower Hamlets LBC
Tower Hamlets arms.png
Court Court of Appeal of England and Wales
Decided 26 April 1989
Citation(s) [1989] ICR 493; [1989] IRLR 258
Case opinions
Nicholls LJ
Keywords
Employment contract

Wiluszynski v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [1989] ICR 439 is a UK labour law case concerning the contract of employment. It held that if an employment was only partly performed due to a strike, this could be construed as not completing an entire obligation, so that even if an employer has received much more value, they need to pay nothing.

This case has been criticised on the ground that it fails to give adequate weight to the context of employment contracts, which differ from commercial contracts, particularly in light of developments in the law of unjust enrichment and the decision of Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher.

Facts[edit]

Mr Marek Wilusyzynski was a member of the trade union, the National and Local Government Officers Association, whose strike plan was to refuse to answer enquiries from the Liberal/SDP controlled council members. This was only a very small proportion of his duties as a housing officer, because he dealt mainly with complaints directly from tenants. He made up three hours of work after five weeks of industrial action. Yet the council had warned that no payment would be made if work was not performed. John Hendy and Jeremy McMullen for Marek.

The first instance court said there had been substantial performance of the job, and management acquiesced in the variation.

Judgment[edit]

Nicholls LJ in the Court of Appeal held that no payment was due to the striking workers, because they had only partly performed an entire obligation of their contracts.

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Notes[edit]

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